Jesus said " Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30
The offer is to the ones who need it. The ones who labor and are heavy laden. This means to carry a heavy load. You would know if this is you. There have been many times when this is me. Jesus is so easy in speaking to us, so simple and to the point. He doesn't say to make a quick trip to our local bookstore and spend good money to buy a self help book. He doesn't even say to pray 3 hail Mary's and kneel for 1 hour. No religion, no tricks, no ulterior motives. Just 'Come.' We are the ones who make it so hard. We are the ones who think we need to do things, do work, do penance etc. He says that He is the one who can give you rest. He is the way, the truth and the life! SHALOM comes from Him! He is SHALOM.
I heard a saying that when we worry, we are robbing ourselves of the strength that we need for that day. He created us. And He created us with certain abilities as humans. But in all reality, worry is not one of them. Worry and stress are negative and when we choose to yield and give into them, it makes us sick physically. We know this. We have all seen it happen to people. It brings ulcers, headaches, lack of sleep, fear and much more. If we really knew He was our Shepherd and as Psalm 23 says "I shall not lack," would we see the need to still worry and stress? Can we learn to roll the cares onto Him and let Him carry our heavy load? I believe so. Think about it. We practiced the other way already. We learned to take the cares and worries and stress. We are actually pretty good at that. You might say even professional!
So we have to learn a new way, retraining our mind, by renewing our mind on the Word of God. Believing with simple faith that this Word is for us, and then doing what it says. Even if you can't see Jesus, you still can pray right? First step is to come. So I pray and tell Jesus. "Here I am Lord. I come to you now. I bring these cares, for I am tired and weary. I have been carrying this heavy load, and I am so done." Now receive of His rest. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself giving your heavy load to Him, even placing it on His back, because that is exactly what He did.
But thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for that hast cast all my sins behind thy back. Isaiah 38:17
Yes, to worry is a sin. It's taking your focus away from His provision. Why are we worrying when He took all of our grief on the cross? We naturally worry. Now continue with the exercise and see yourself holding your cares and place them in His hands. Watch as Jesus in turn gives you His peace. Even picture His hand on your shoulder as He lovingly looks at you and smiles. Receive of His peace.
A yoke is wooden contraption, a collar that fits on an ox in order to plow the field. Two oxen are attached to the yoke. It is designed for two, to keep them together. But what they used to do is put a younger ox when a more experienced one, in order to train them. Well you could think of it this way. We have been carrying a heavy yoke all by ourself, and we are the younger, inexperienced ox. Jesus is the strong one, the teacher. He doesn't worry. He knows who His Father is. He knows He is God's Son and that the devil is a liar that has been defeated. He never lets care take up rent space in His head. And He is here and wants to teach us this. He wants us to link up with Him and learn from Him. For His burden is light and His yoke is easy.
To make a new habit requires repetition. I encourage you to think on the above scriptures, and go back to them, to keep on thinking about them. Let them wash over your mind and your thoughts. And when a care or thought of worry comes, speak on purpose to yourself and say, "NO. I'm not going that route anymore. I want to go God's way. Lord, I give you this care, and I take your peace. I let go of it."
I have had to this many times. But the more you do it, the easier it will be to spot when the opportunity of worry is coming your way, knocking on your front door. We are the only ones who can slam the door of worry and care shut!!.
We can live a carefree life! It is possible. Jesus does want to give us rest and refreshment. But He needs our cooperation. If He asks us to do something, then we know that He also gave us the ability to do so.
God's PEACE is MINE!!! I'm TAKING it!!
I thought I would take this time to share a bit about our inmate ministry which we call SPEIRO. It stands for Sowing into Prisoners Eternity In Righteous Obedience. The Lord gave me this name some years back before we began sending anything to inmates. It is actually a greek word 'speiro' which means 'to sow.' And really, thats why we are called Heart Sower Ministries.
Anyhow, I wanted to explain that info to you. Because I know that this corresponding and writing to inmates is close to the heart of God, well, it means that its close to my heart as well. I do it because it pleases the Father. They may go in as hardened criminals, murderers and drug dealers, but on this end, we treat them as God sees them, lost treasures that are being found, needing the love of a good Father who is very willing to adopt them and show them His heart. People sometimes ask, "How can you do this, aren't you afraid." I think to myself, it's a special grace God gave me, for I don't see the bad stuff. On the other hand I don't ignore it either. We have acquired lots of rules in all of our writing to the prisoners. We have a PO Box, we do not send pictures, no money, no stamps, no gifts, except the books or Bibles and studies we send. We even use pen names for protection. Certain things we don't talk about in our letters, and we stay on the spiritual side of things. The whole reason we started the studies, is because we didn't want to only write pen pal letters. No, they need God's Word. That is what will change them. And we have seen a lot of great changes. Even if our hands are sore from writing, we will not stop, and that's happened too. There are 3 of us that write and send studies. And out of over 200 that have ever written to us, right now we have a steady influx of about 80 or so that write us regularly. It's a big deal for them to get a letter. Honestly, it's like Christmas. Many have no family or friends left. They destroyed them all. And many that we have are lifers.
So let me tell you of some of the gems I personally have. I had a writer and editor inmate who did edit our Bible Studies and was faithful to do it to the end, refused anything in return. A strong Christian. Yes, there are a lot of strong Christians in prisons. Many became saved and grew strong even in prison. I also have a favorite who is 74 yrs old and in for life, who writes beautiful Bible studies himself. His letters are full of peace and contentment. He loves Jesus so much. He always speaks of how grateful he is to the Lord. Amazing man. I have a few messianic Jews as well. That is a Jew who who has accepted Jesus as his Savior and Messiah. One imparticular is studying to become a Rabbi. He teaches studies within the prison. He likes to teach me about the Torah. They don't say 'Jesus,' but call Him 'Ha Shem,' which means 'The Name.' They feel it is too holy to say Jesus or God. Even though they are saved, they still carry many of the Jewish ways. We have a few artists as well, that you may have already seen in our section which shows their art. Beautiful work.
I have an inmate who has a ministry. In fact, many have ministries and go to College by correspondence. Some cook, work in the infirmary, many have small jobs that keep them busy, and may only pay $1.00. But it keeps them useful and out of trouble. This particular inmate, collects Biblical articles and studies, writings from other Christian inmates and sends them to his mom on the outside. She in turn compiles them into a newsletter, and then sends them nationwide to many inmates between 600-800. They have put our info into their newsletter a few times, and thats one source where we get our addresses from. Their newsletter is called 'Fishers of Men.' We have poets, writers, cooks, nurses, preachers and the list goes on.
We always send an encouraging note or letter each time with their studies. We get a lot of questions about God. It is such a joy to get a letter that is full of hunger for God. A person can't fake this. We know when there is a phony who just wants a girl friend. And a few times we have cut off any correspondence because of that. But for the most part all is well, and it is so worth the small bit of agro or difficult letters that we may receive. Remember that diamonds are not found in clean caves. There is dirt and dust, filth and scraping to get to the rocks that will one day be carved into beautiful priceless gems that have a high worth. Jesus doesn't mind the dirt. He cleans them up with His blood and His precious Word. The presence of our Holy God is not afraid of going into a dark and small, enclosed and smelly jail cell. His light changes things, and it changes people who's heart is open anywhere, and anytime. Each name and address is valuable, and you just never know. My friend one of my writers, who calls herself 'Paris' just recently got a letter saying that he didn't know where she got his address from. He was not into God anymore. He believed God forgot about Him. Well he ended up doing the study. We sent him a book, 'The Father Loves.' Then next letter she got was like night and day! He did a 180 turn around. Come to find out that he was a preacher who had strayed. He was quoting scripture left and right and thanked her for reaching out. Because of her writing and studies, he said it caused him to have an encounter with God. He actually felt the warmth and presence of the Almighty God in his cell. He then rededicated his life back to God, and is excited to live for Him again. I think the biggest thing is that he knows God is real, and didn't forget about him. So that one name, that one address can make such a difference. God sees them!
God is so good, so loving and so kind!
Remember the petal game? He loves me, he loves me not. And you always hoped that the very last one would be the good one. It was a chance that it might not be. But the daisy God gives us is always and only love. If you miss it and make a mistake, He loves you. If you do something not so nice, intentionally, He loves you. He only has one answer and it is always, only Agape love. It doesn't ever change. It's like a wonderfully broken record. And this record you want to play over and over again. A record that brings healing and refreshment to the hungry listening ears.
On our own, we don't and can't love like this. And so we surmise that no one loves like this, not even God, and we may even think, especially NOT God! We think, if anything, He loves RULES! One day we will see, and one day we will know. But for now, we have His Word, and that's what we can trust.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God... I John 3:1
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. (Same verse in the Message Bible)
Sometimes I think about words and adjectives, verbs and nouns. When I think about them regarding His love, I feel like our language is so inadequate and lacking. How could you describe God's love? Or sometimes when I want to praise Him, I can't find the right words. I believe we are going to learn so many new words in heaven. But here on earth, He deserves so much more than we can give Him. But just like a good Father, He wants to give to us, and shower and pour out on us, even more than He wants to receive. I'm sure He loves to receive our worship. But real love can't help itself, but give.
It loves to give! Love has to give! Love is creative, because it is loving. I remember building a 2 story wooden dollhouse for my girl when she was 5yr. old. It was Christmas time. I would stay up late at night, when the kids went to sleep and work on it, glueing the pieces together so carefully. Then a few days later, I was painting it pink and white. I had more fun! Because I was anticipating the look on her face. I so wanted to please her and make her happy. You see love gives, doesn't hold back. Love is not stingy. The joy of loving someone makes you so creative, that you plan and devise ways of surprising someone, just because you want to see them smile and be happy. God is like this, but multiply it by a million. Only not really, it's more like infinity and beyond!! The Father sees each one of us. He is hoping that more will come and see Him as He really is. God is Love.
When you go leisurely hiking up in the Sierra mountains and discover the delicate and intricate wild flowers, this is one way to see how delicate and tender His love is for you. But just as it is delicate, it is also as strong as the wild, untamed blue ocean waves. His love is strong. and yet it is tender. He knows every tear, every hurt that we suffer with. His love sustains us, heals and protects, shielding us from evil.
But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works. Ps 73:28.
Don't be afraid to let His love overtake you. For when it does, it will seep and soak through your heart, and humble you forever. You will see His greatness and majesty in His love for you. It will cause you to shine. The are others out there waiting for you. Waiting for that lovely face to shine and to show them that they matter to God. They are needing to hear the poem as well, 'He loves me, He loves me, He loves me...
We serve a God who is invisible and lives in eternity. Yet He is all around us. God sits on His throne in heaven, in eternity. Jesus sits on the right hand side of God. It is the Holy Spirit who is here on the earth. His Spirit is everywhere, surrounding this earth. I believe this because I see it in the Word of God. There is no where that I can go from His presence. I can try to run away from Him, but that is futile, for where ever I am, there He is. It's not that He catches up to me, but that He is already there. And yet many of us think that because we don't see Him, that means He's not there.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Isaiah 66:1 says, that heaven is God's
throne and the earth is His foot stool. Some foot stool, or even better, wow, some foot! Ps. 50:12 speaks of how the whole world is His and the fullness there of. It belongs to Him, because He made it. Why shouldn't He be able to go where ever He pleases? Ps. 46:1 states that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. That reminds me of different cases where children where trapped in different dangerous places, and found unharmed and alive. There are many angels of God involved there, but it's because of the fact that God is a very present help in trouble.
With so many scriptures stated, and much more that give proof, why do we think that because we don't see Him, He isn't there? Or sometimes when you feel lonely or sad, you totally believe that God has left you and doesn't love you anymore. Those kind of thoughts come from either a lack of knowledge or the other side, which is the enemy. And His home is in the pit of hell for sure. Yes, we do serve an invisible God who is a good Father who loves us always. And that's why we need faith. If you saw Him, you wouldn't need faith. The disciples were with Jesus. But when He wasn't there or when He was sleeping on the boat, and they thought He wasn't helping them, they stopped believing. Thomas didn't see Jesus at the end like the others, and so He stopped believing. He wanted to see Jesus for himself in order to believe. Jesus told Thomas that blessed are those that didn't see but still believed.
Ps. 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Ps. 114:7 Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord...
It is God's Spirit that is on the earth now. For believers, He is leading, teaching, guiding, comforting and so much more. And for unbelievers, He is convicting them that they need to repent and believe in Jesus (Jn. 16:8-9). If the Word tells us to come before His presence with thanksgiving (Ps.95) or to come before His presence with singing (Ps. 100:2), that must mean that we can come right into His presence. So when you sing to Him, you are in His presence and He is listening to you.
God doesn't sleep. Do you know that He watches you when you sleep? You get tired and sleep, and He doesn't get tired and stays up to watch that you are safe. Read it, an awesome little psalm speaks of it Psalm 121. You that have had babies, don't you like to watch them sleep? Don't you like to check on them and make sure they are safe? Why is God any different? Especially when you realize that we are made in His image, after His likeness.
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
As believers in the blood of Jesus Christ, we know that the difference in coming near to God's presence is that we come not in our own self, merits, achievements or works that we have accomplished. We come before the God of heaven who is God Almighty "In Christ," covered by His blood and His work of the cross. A humbling thought indeed. Who are we by our selves to strut up to Creator of the universe? We must always come by the grace of Jesus and "In Christ." Jesus is the one who made the bridge and the way to the Father. We were far, but now we are nigh, which means near.
So no matter where we are, whether it's stranded on a lonely, deserted island somewhere in the tropics, or climbing a mountain somewhere in the Sierras, you are not alone. The presence of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of God, who is one with Jesus, and one with the Father, is all around you and in you. Above, beneath, behind and before you. You are covered and He will never let you go. He paid too high of a price for you to just let you go. He will never forsake or abandon you. He is your Father for keeps.
How perfectly secure we should be in that lovely thought that is so true. It should cause us to sleep, just like a baby.
Things happen. Life happens, and it rains on the just and the unjust. God loves this man even before he was born. But how does this man see himself right now? Does he think "This is what I am, a bum. This is what I have become. And I will be this way the rest of my days."
How do you see yourself? Is it the way God sees you? What is the movie that plays on the daily screen of your life? Do you believe the way you are is result of the fact that you can see it physically with your own two eyes? Does the homeless man say "Look at me. Look at my ragged clothes. This is all I've got. What you see is what you get. So I might as well fit the bill. I might as well drink what I can get my hands on?"
We can look at our checkbook and see the minuses, surmising these facts to be real and final. Or we can dare to look at the real truth of God's Word.
And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." Isaiah 32:18
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power. Col. 2:9-10
If we believe only what we see, then what do scriptures like these two above mean and who are they really for? Are they really for us?
We have to ask ourselves these questions. There is a higher truth that trumps the one we see and that is the Word of God.
Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Can we stretch ourselves to simply believe what the wisest one who made us says about us? We can and we must if we are desiring change in our lives. Jesus said "Nothing is impossible with God." He said, "Only believe."
Christ did the work, because we were unable to. It was a real work, that was a success, not a failure.
By the way that we think sometimes, you would have thought it was a failure. Remember, faith is not for rocket scientists. It's for children. We are God's children. We need to stop making it so hard to understand.
We choose to see the good work He has done in us. We choose to ignore what is on the outside and in the physical that we see. We say "Yes," to His vision for us. It doesn't matter how we get there. That is His problem. That's His work, so He has the details. We just believe and see it each day in our soul, in our hearts. No struggling, no stress just rest. Choose to rest only in His Word for you. See those words as pictures. You see the old as pictures, so why not see the new as pictures. Look at the picture on the left above. That represents the old, the limitations, sickness, poverty, hopelessness. Now look at the right, focus there. This picture represents hope, love, no limitations, health, provision, contentment, security and relationship with the Father. All of this has been provided through Jesus Christ. We keep looking at this picture of ourself in Him. Think it, feel it, thank God for it. Don't look at time, for that will trip you up. Keep looking at Jesus and His Word, His promises.
No stress, just rest...
We are already wired this way. God saw to it when He made us. We see in pictures, we think in pictures. Some scientists that have explored the brain, explain that as we think, it's like a picture dictionary. We may see and read words, but really as we do, we are seeing them as pictures. It depends on what we put into this fascinating computer of ours what comes out. To think that the scenes that will be played out in this journey called our lifetime all depends on our continuing input of thoughts, is an amazing concept.
Just as the dollar bill is not bad, it's just currency exchange. But it all depends on how you use it. You can even worship it, and use it for evil or use it for good, in God's kingdom. Thoughts are the same. They are the framework for us, for our lives. They can be evil or good. And so as we accept them and input them into our minds, our very own computers, good or bad, we will create that blueprint and that blueprint will bring the end result.
It's also interesting how we can learn from the mistakes and the stories of the wicked in the Bible. We can learn from these. We can look at their lives and how they did things and know that if it was done in the negative, it can be done in the positive. Studying and finding the scriptures about some of these negative thoughts, has been an eye opener, and can tell us a lot of what we need to know in order to do the opposite. If it worked in the negative, then it can and will work in the positive.
Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
As we begin to dissect this telling verse in order to meditate on it, we can see several important clues.
Remember that it all starts with thoughts and pictures in the imagination. The actions whether they be evil or good, are really the last thing to happen, not the first. You don't rob a store in a split second for no reason. You first have had to take the time to consider and devise a plan. Looking to the verse above, the reason that their feet run to evil and make haste to shed innocent blood is due to their thoughts. It's says that their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity. They are not sitting under a tree singing 'Kum bah Yah.' They are busy hating and conniving mischief. What you dwell on becomes a comfort zone. If you dwell on worry daily, continually, it will become a twisted comfort zone. But the good thing is that you can change this. It will take some effort on your part, and I can say from experience, at times there will be a fight in your head. But you just keep coming back to thinking on the good thoughts of God's Word.
Like this one:
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength...
The word 'mind' here is the Hebrew word 'Yetser' which speaks of the imagination, and means also conception, framework. When you are meditating, you are building something. You are building a framework. For what? For the future of your life. Isaiah says to keep your mind stayed on God. Jesus also is God, so you can picture Jesus. Stay there, and dwell on seeing His face. He will keep you in His perfect peace. You do this because you trust Him. This is how I meditate. And you can learn to do this as well.
Did you ever hear a song and the words whether they were bad or good stayed in your head? You just couldn’t get them out of your head. This has happened to me too. The only way I finally found was to replace it with another song. Or sometimes I would even change the words to something that made me happy instead of pulling me down. Words have such an effect on us, whether we are aware of it or not. You just can't say, ‘Oh that won’t happen to me. I won’t let it. I won’t let the words affect me, I can handle it.”
Words are seeds which are planted into our minds as thoughts. It can be by a bill board that you quickly drive pass and with a swift glance the thought can be planted. You can dismiss it. But let’s say it makes quite an impression on you to the point that you think on it later. The billboard pic could have been on anything. From liquor to a tropical vacation or a local dinner buffet. And when you lay your head down on the pillow, the picture comes back to you, and you begin to think and dwell on it. Let’s just pick a vacation for the example. The next morning you tell your mate, ‘You know, I think we need a vacation. We should start talking about it.’ The next week the thought comes back again and the next thing you know you are searching for places to go. Words and pictures are seeds.
Mark 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
This is speaking of God’s Word. And the fertile ground is speaking of our hearts. But the planting comes via through the imagination of our thoughts and minds. We water as we continually dwell on those particular thoughts. The thoughts can be evil or good. It doesn’t matter. And once the seeds break open and take root, they begin to grow. The plant grows steadily, so the fruit that is created will come as words out of your mouth. You will have a harvest. When the fruit of your lips is created and comes out of your mouth as words, it won’t be long until the action of those words will follow. It’s inevitable. This subject just fascinates me to no end. Most of us have no idea how powerful our thoughts and words are. But God knows, because He made us this way. An evil person that is speaking and having actions of evil will be having those type of thoughts as well. The Bible speaks of this. And a person who is the opposite, living and walking in the love of God is one who has trained their mind to think of God's thoughts. We can change our actions by our thoughts.
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. Ps. 10:4
And yet the opposite case is also true.
The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. Prov 12:5
Even though a person accepts Jesus in their heart, their mind and their thoughts need to change. And that is one thing that God cannot and will not do for you. You must renew your mind and change your thoughts. (Rom 12:1-3) If that were so, we would see such a dramatic change in believers. God gave us our own mind, will and emotions to choose Him freely, to love Him freely or not. To think on Him freely and on His Word, or not. It's up to us. He cannot and will not do that for us, because it's our mind, and we only have been given one. He sets the table before us, the feast of His incredible Word, full of mysteries and wisdom. But it's up to us, to get our shiny silverware out and scoot up to the table, wrap that napkin around our neck and start eating. We eat by thinking and chewing and speaking His lovely Word. 'Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life...' We must discipline our self to think and dwell on His Word. Before long it creates a habit and a comfort zone to which we cannot do without it. And we find ourselves changing from the inside out. It is really quite ingenious of God the Father to think of such a thing for us humans. And I am committed to teaching about this to inmates who really need some thought changing. I am excited to teach others what God has shown and taught me on the subject as well. We are a spirit that is one with God, if we are a believer, and we have a mind that is to be full of God's Word, and as a result it constantly comes out of our mouths, and then our body will soon follow into action that matches our thoughts and words. God is so brilliant!
I was thinking the other day about this scripture in Jeremiah 29:11, that was spoken by God.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
We have this promise from God. Some think they were dealt a bad lot in life. But really they have been given the promise of a good future through Christ, they just don't realize it.
Did you ever think about how Jesus was the only one that had a destiny on this earth of death? He is God come in the flesh to this earth for our benefit. But His journey through this life led to the cross, to die a violent bloody death on a rugged cross. The scripture in Jeremiah was given to us because He was obedient to die on that cross. The disciples didn't understand really, until after he appeared to them when he had been resurrected. I would think that Mary then, also didn't understand. How could God have done this to Jesus? When did He begin to understand? As a young teen, did He have dreams of His destiny from God? Most have hopes and dreams and goals. But His was very different and unique indeed. I believe that as He fasted the 40 day fast, He began to discover His destiny from God. And all the nights that the disciples would sleep, and He would sneak away to be with His Father in prayer and fellowship, the vision was uncovered and became clearer and clearer. "While others are prospering and growing their families, I am headed for prison, to be arrested and tortured. My life is a preparation for a time when all will be shouting ferociously, mocking and accusing me falsely. This is why I came. This is my destiny, the plan of God for my life. I am the sacrifice, sent to willingly die for all men, for sin and for the world." He was called to die for every person who lived past, present and future.
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 For. 8:9
He gave up everything for us. The greek word 'Poor,' means a beggar. We are not destined to be poor like He was. He became a pauper, and homeless person on the cross for us. We really can never say "I will never amount to nothing." If we do, we have no clue of what He did for us. He gave it all up, so that we could trade places and have the benefits of the Kingdom of heaven, to be included in the family of God. In total ignorance, we might say 'No one cares, no one loves me, I'm all alone.' Think again.
That cross, brought you full provision in every way, Spirit, soul and body. That cross gives you the right to healing on this side of heaven. You now have peace with God. We have a right because He gave us that right to be free from addiction, mental illnesses, poverty and lack. Not just eternal life after we die. We have a right to so much now in this life! But we must learn what is promised in the Word.
He humbled Himself to the lowest point for you out of love. And God exalted Him to the highest point because of His humility and obedience. Now He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But on earth, His journey and destiny was death and hell, so that He could give us a destiny of Life and Heaven and an inclusion into the most wonderful family with the best Father of all.
The Lord has a passion for us like no one else. He is called our Redeemer for a reason. This is a perfect picture of how the Lord is holding onto us. Jesus is the one who saved us, and reached down to pull us out of eternal damnation. When we think that He is no where to be found, let us think again. He is right there. We look in the wrong places, only in the physical realm, but we will find Him in the spiritual realm. And in this realm, we must use our faith and believe His Word.
He is holding on tight to you and will not let his grip on you slacken.
For He has said, 'I will never (under any circumstances) desert you (nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless), nor will I forsake or let you down or relax my hold on you (assuredly not)! Hebrews 13:5b Amplified Bible
In Song of Solomon Ch. 3:2 the shulamite girl goes to find her beloved, but cannot find him. She realizes her need for him, and finally goes out to search, but searches in all the wrong places. She is seeking him out in the physical realm. He is not where we can see Him. He lives inside of us.
So I decided to go out into the city, into the streets and broad ways (which are so confusing to a country girl), and see him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but I could not find him. Song of Sol. 3:2
We think He has left us because we don't feel Him near. And yet if we were to believe what we read in His Word, He says He will never leave us and never mean never. In the verse in Hebrews 13:5b when He says 'I will never leave you'; the greek word here is 'aniemi' meaning to loosen, to relax hold on or let sink, to send back. So the picture above is a perfect fit for what that word really means! He will never let you go! It doesn't matter if you can see Him or not, if you can feel Him or not. You just have to take Him at His Word. He is right there ready to give you the peace and wisdom that you are seeking and desperately need.
I remember a time when I was living in an apartment on the 3rd floor in Co. Springs. It was a great view of the mountains and I would sit there at sunset time quite often in the summer with the windows wide open and the breeze blowing through. I was still learning this concept of feeling and seeing verses believing and accepting His friendship in the spirit. That evening I was frustrated that I couldn't hear His voice. So I began to talk to Him. "Why can't I hear you? Why won't you talk to me?" Then I would sigh and frown. This went on a bit. Finally this thought came. 'Why don't you believe?' Here I was struggling to feel Him in the natural, when He wasn't there at all. He is Spirit and in the spirit realm. A light bulb came on. 'You mean if I truly believe, then I would act like it's so right? I would act as if you are here right this minute. Okay then. Father God I thank you that you are here. And we are watching this sunset together. I rest in you, and thank you that you aren't trying to keep yourself from me. But you want me to come into your realm.' And then I heard in my heart 'Thank you.' A lesson learned.
This is a walk of faith. You have to receive that peace. Believe Him, and then receive that wisdom. I say 'Ok Lord. I believe you. I take it.' And then I rest. I relax from all the useless worrying. And I go about my business, thanking Him that He is gonna give me the wisdom I need for that situation. That's how faith works. Remember, God wants you to succeed more than you do. Simple, childlike faith....
Seasons come and seasons go. And with them comes thunder storms, wind, snow and hail. Even unexpected wild tornadoes and hurricanes can whip right through a town and demolish it. But then there are those heroic untouched houses and trees. How deep are the roots? How deep do your roots go into the Word of God, the love of God? Some are Sunday Christians, and fare weather Bible carriers. When all is going well, it's so easy to say Thank you Jesus. But when the hurricanes is approaching, are they running back and forth crying for help to all their friends? Do they buckle down and dig their feet in the ground and stand strong on God's real promises? Weather represents life's troubles and hard times. There will always be changes and tribulation as long as we are on this earth. But we can still grow fruit, the big luscious kind that holds lots of seeds. Because we are not dependent on any outside resources or weather. We are led by the Holy Spirit. We follow His ways and His leading. And He leads us to grow healthy, lasting fruit.
I think this is why the tree in Jeremiah has leaves that always green. It does not have the 4 earthly seasons like the other trees on earth. It follows a different kingdom, with different rules. It's leaf never withers, and it's branches are always prospering, always bearing fruit in it's season.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
I believe that the river is the living waters of the Holy Spirit. As we abide and stay closely connected to the Lord, by His Word, listening to His voice, continuing relationship and intimacy, we are constantly learning, growing, receiving nurturing from His life. For we are one. He in us, and we in Him. We will never even be concerned about drought, famine or tribulation. For we feed off the one who not only gave us life, and continues to pour into us the sap of His blood that covers us; but we feed off of the one who is LIFE, Jesus Christ our eternal King who is LORD of all the universe.